Tuesday, July 16, 2019

July 14 - 15, Back in SC!

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July 14, Sunday 
Left the anchorage behind Jekyll Island at 6AM in a good morning light. Another calm day offshore (yeah!). In our 2 day run offshore, the Coast Guard was very busy. We could hear their side of the conversations but not always the mariner in distress. There was a heart attack, boat filling with water, people in the water, abandoned fishing boats to name a few of the calls we overheard. 

Anchored in Bull Creek just off a Dafuskie Island and south of Hilton Head and there was a great moonrise.


Miles 87
July 15, Monday 

We weighed anchor at 6 AM and finishing our journey on the ICW. It is calm enough outside but the long inlet out will add more miles and this part of the ICW is not as “bad” as in GA. Plus it’s pretty. The marsh grasses are so very green.  It is good to see them again. 

We had a beautiful sunrise.
Hilton Head lighthouse as we go by. 

We saw tons of dolphins and birds including 5 Roseate Spoonbills. It does feel good to be close to home. We should arrive mid afternoon but will have to wait a couple of hours to cross the sand bar in the creek. 

We entered Toogoodoo Creek at 2:20 right at low tide so we sat in the creek till mid tide and at 5:30 we crossed with plenty of water under the keel. We were welcomed by lots of dolphins in the creek as well as Genny, Hugh and Doug from their dock!

It is good to be home!

1474.8 total miles Summer Breeze traveled

Parishville Rd to Fort Pierce, FL and across to West End, Bahamas and as far down as Little Harbor, Abacos and back.

162 days or 5 1/2 months

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Saturday, July 13, 2019

July 11 13, Titusville to Ft Matanzas to St Augustine, FL to Jekyl Island, GA

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July 11, Thursday

We were visited by a an osprey last night on the foredeck. As soon as we opened the side door to photograph him, he flew off so we only got pics through the window screens. 

We slipped off the mooring ball by 7:45 this morning and left Titusville with dolphins saying goodbye. An hour later, we are going through Haulover Canal and entering the dull and boring Mosquito Lagoon on our way to Daytona tonight. 

Haulover Canal is one of my favorite spots along the ICW. It is a short canal with a bridge we barely fit under and there are always manatees, birds and fishermen around.

 I couldn’t snap any good manatee pics but got some of birds. Some look like black storks but Google says that black storks aren’t in the US at all so I don’t know what they are. Perhaps just buzzards? They looked like a stork. Several blue herons were around as well.

We arrived at Daytona and did not like the anchoring options, even though we anchored there in February. The anchorage was full of local and permanent boats, they didn’t look well attended and the current was ripping, so we voted to move on and hopefully arrive before dark at the next suitable spot. There aren’t many suitable anchoring options in this section of FL along the ICW and a marina is not our 1st choice unless we need fuel or water.  So, off we go to Fort Matanzas area. It was an extra 4 hours but doable since it was early in the day.

We didn't escape this red cell thunderstorm going over us, which doesn't look bad in the photo at all but we had some heavy rain and lightening for about 30 minutes. 

Happy hour was very late but well deserved! And we got some great cloud and after storm pics.

 Fortt Matanzas was built by the Spanish in 1742 to guard the Matanzas Inlet and River which could be used as a rear entrance to the city of St Augustine. It is now a national monument.

Anchored at 6:55 Fort Matanzas 
Miles: 82
Miles total: 1235

July 12, Friday

Left the Fort Matanzas anchorage 9:05 AM and arrived at St Augustine Municiple Marina and moored at10:55 on #8. Our regular mooring ball. 

Approaching the city and the Bridge of Lions. 

View from our mooring.

Why do we never get tired of watching dolphins or trying to capture them in a photo!

We spent the afternoon in the city and had some Blue Moons on the Sangria's balcony and a great meal at The Columbia. That seems to be our standard stops in the city of St A! 

The afternoon t-storms were close by but never came over us. We got to bed early in hopes of an early departure for a long offshore day tomorrow. The forecast had changed again and it doesn’t look good now. 

Miles 15
Miles total 1249

July 13, Saturday

Left our mooring at 7 AM. 

The forecast has changed again and it looks good now! There is a possibility of an afternoon storm that may scream by but they are short. 

Going offshore, we traveled out the inlet in a fury of small local fishing boats going out the channel. It happens to be the mini season for red snapper in FL, which is only Friday - Sunday. This is our 1st time going out the St Augustine Inlet which has a history of shoaling so the buoys are uncharted (but present!) and the parade of boats led the way! 

We had calm seas, slightly overcast, a bit of light rain around 1:00 causing us to think about darting into St Mary’s Inlet instead of St Simon’s Inlet but we decided it was early enough to move on and the seas are still calm. 

We saw a warship leaving out of St John’s River Inlet and tons of small fishing boats out.  Actually, we were on a collision course with him (her?) so we slowed down to let him pass in front of us. He did sneak up on us as he was under the radar, so to speak. The radar screen showed a target point but there was zero ship information and nothing on the chart plotter where ships with transmitters show up.  The whole ship disappeared except visually! and within 1/2 mile in front of us!

The day continued to remain calm, overcast and hazy, not hot and we made great time. We entered the long St Simon's Inlet and traveled an hour to our anchorage just around the tip of Little Jekyll Island. 

The Brunswick Bridge is in view from our anchorage. We plan on leaving a bit earlier tomorrow as it should be another good offshore travel day, especially in GA! It is really winding and slow and shallow. These 2 days will save 2 extra days of ICW travel. Today, we were as much at 10 miles from shore traveling a straight line up the curving coast.

Miles: 89, including about 10 miles through the inlet and around to the anchorage. 
Miles total: 1338

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Wednesday, July 10, 2019

July 9 - 10: Fort Pierce to Wassabo to Titusville

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July 9, Tuesday
Time to head north along the ICW! 

We returned to Fort Pierce on Sunday evening and spent Monday preparing to leave, topping off the water tanks, grocery store and returning the rental car. We also had AJ Aleixo of Down Under Dive Service do another great bottom cleaning job to prepare Summer Breeze for the trip home. We then had a great last meal (red snapper) at Cobb's Landing Restaurant.

This morning, we attempted to leave the marina 9:30 AM but the outgoing tide gave us quite an impossible task quickly pinning us against the slip pilings on the oppose side of our finger pier. We were thankful that no boats were around us and we were able to easily tie up and wait 2 hours for slack tide. At 11:45 with a slacker tide but with a bit of wind, we were able to leave the marina. Bruce did a great job of backing out of our "spot" and maneuvering in the bit of current and wind. "The lessons never end."

We arrived at Wassabo, which is north of Vero Beach and about 20 miles south of Melbourne, at 2:45 and decided to hunker down there for the approaching afternoon thunderstorms. They have been fierce and we didn’t want to drive through them if we didn’t have to. We dropped our anchor into the ICW’s dark water, can’t see the chain or anchor anymore! 

Storms and thunder on the horizon. The evening brought some light rains but we had watched the Sirius weather station to see where the storms were live and made a good decision on stopping early.

Miles: 22
Miles total: 1092
July 10, Wednesday

We weighed anchor at 7:30 after a great sleep! It was a calm morning with dolphins and pelicans everywhere, and a lot of mud on the anchor chain! Made us happy to have that saltwater wash down to save on our precious fresh water! Bruce used up a ton of water to wash off the mud from the anchor chain.

It was a long, slow, hot day and we look forward to our AC after we stop traveling for the day again. (We like to pilot from the flybridge and we are always in the shade but it is warm!). We took a mooring ball at Titusville by 3:45. Rain storms were close by but seemed to miss us and the radar and weather stations showed them all around. 

Think good thoughts for the rest of our trip north, please!

Miles 61

Miles 1153

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Saturday, July 6, 2019

July 1 - 6, Sea Dweller Visit and Cruise to Marco Island and the Ten Thousand Islands

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June 29, Saturday 

Night on the town (Fort Pierce).  Yes, we both need haircuts but ONE of us badly needs one!  

On July 2nd, we had Summer Breeze secured at the marina and drove to Ft Myers to spend a few days with Bryan and Mary on Sea Dweller. It is time to take her out to sea and we are thrilled to be deck hands on board.

Sea Dweller at the marina.

July 3, Wednesday
Heading out to sea!

Bryan and Mary at the helm. 

Sea Dweller kitty on her 1st voyage!

Sunset at the anchorage just off of Sanibel Island.

July 4, Thursday

Happy 4th of July! We got to enjoy the fireworks show from the aft deck and watched about a million other boats parade in and out of the channel!

4th of July sunset.

July 5, Friday

After securing Sea Dweller at the anchorage at Marco Island, we went off to explore on the dinghy.  (Note: the dinghy is a big boat compared to Jasmine!) 

We went the back way behind Marco Island to explore the Ten Thousand Island area. 

The afternoon thunder storms were threatening so we decided to duck into a pub/restaurant in Goodland for some lunch and a visit with the pirates. 

Sea Dweller at anchor at Marco Island. 

Sunset from the bow and stern of the boat.

July 6, Saturday

Time to head out again! Cruising in the Gulf of Mexico on a calm day.

Captain-Chef Bryan is cooking shrimp étouffée for dinner tonight. It was delicious, of course and no pics to show for it! We ate it all!

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